Many inexperienced fur farmers often ask why rabbits die on the farm. These small animals can die for various reasons. However, most often the attack in the herd occurs due to various infectious diseases. One of the most dangerous infections affecting rabbits is pasteurellosis.
This unpleasant disease can damage the health of almost all farm animals: pigs, sheep, poultry, cattle. But it is precisely in rabbits, which by nature do not differ in good health, hemorrhagic septicemia is most often detected. Treat animals with pasteurellosis, you need to start immediately after the manifestation of its first signs. Otherwise, the lunge in the herd will be very large (up to 75%).
What causes hemorrhagic septicemia
The causative agent of such a dangerous disease as rabbit pasteurellosis is the bacterium Pasteurella multocida (sometimes gemolitica). It is a polymorphic, short, motionless stick, not forming a spore. In water, manure and land, this bacterium can remain viable for 2-3 weeks, and in the bodies of dead animals - up to 4 months. In this case, direct sunlight kills Pasteurella multocida in just a few minutes.
How is the disease transmitted?
This bacterium can get into rabbitry in several ways:
- stale or simply contaminated with food and water,
- with repair young animals acquired in another farm or producers,
Very often chickens become the carrier of this infection. Pasteurellosis of birds is of the same nature as in rabbits. That is why it is recommended to build cages and aviaries away from chicken coops. Sometimes the stick Pasteurella multocida gets into the rabbitry and on the clothes of the owners. You can bring this infection to the farm either on the body or on the wheels of a car after visiting an economy that is unsuccessful in terms of animal disease.
The clinical picture of the disease
Pasteurellosis of rabbits can be acute or chronic. This disease poses a great danger to animals, including because its symptoms are not pronounced. Externally infected rabbits look relatively healthy. The only thing is that animals feel a little depressed and do not eat too willingly. Therefore, inexperienced fur farmers often simply skip the first stage of the disease without taking any measures. Meanwhile, animals can only be saved on time by starting their treatment.
Pasteurellosis is the most common answer to the question of why rabbits die on the farm. The incubation period of this disease in acute form lasts about 5 hours. Animals die about 5 days after infection. Sometimes the disease also becomes chronic.
Symptoms of pasteurellosis
To determine the presence of infection in the herd, in addition to depression and loss of appetite, you can by the following signs:
- increase in body temperature of animals to 41-42 gr.,
- difficulty breathing
- bloating of the gastrointestinal tract,
- the release of pus from the nasal cavity.
In infected rabbits, among other things, conjunctivitis and ear infection can occur. By the end of the disease, before the death, the body temperature of the animal drops sharply (to 35-33 gr.). In chronic pasteurellosis, rabbits may experience symptoms such as depression, otitis media, purulent outflows from the eyes and nose.
Rabbit pasteurellosis: drug treatment
At the initial stage of the development of the disease, rabbits are usually prescribed sulfa drugs or antibiotics. This can be, for example, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, biomycin, norsulfazole, etc. These drugs should be administered intramuscularly. Injections to rabbits are done twice a day. In this case, the first 3 days usually use sulfa drugs, and the next three days - antibiotics. At the final stage, the first group of funds is again used. In total, therefore, treatment of rabbits lasts about 9 days.
The method described above is mainly used to save adults. Young animals at the age of 45-90 days are given a special tool - formol vaccine. This drug is able to completely rid the animal of pasteurellosis in the shortest possible time. However, unfortunately, it does not have such an effect on adult rabbits.
The main ways to prevent the spread of an infection such as rabbit pasteurellosis are:
- keeping clean in cages and cages,
- keeping newly acquired individuals for several days in the quarantine department.
Before starting work on the farm, owners should wash their hands with soap and water. Also, do not go into rabbitry in dirty shoes and clothes.
If there is a farm near the farm with already sick animals, rabbits should be examined without exception. Suspicious individuals should be isolated from the herd. All animals without exception should also be immediately administered intramuscularly with terramycin at a dose of 20 mg per kg of body weight.
Pasteurellosis Vaccine: Use
Of course, vaccines are the best preventative measure against pasteurellosis. Vaccination of rabbits from this disease is not done on all farms. It is carried out only on those farms that are located near the dysfunctional. Adults older than 2 months are usually injected with an extract-formol vaccine intended for rabbits. Young animals are injected with serum against diseases such as pasteurellosis of birds and pigs (every 5-7 days). Then also use the vaccine. Sometimes serum is also administered to animals older than 2 months.
What to do if rabbits are already sick
In addition to treating animals, if there is an infection in rabbitry, thorough disinfection should be performed. The meat of rabbits slaughtered or dead from pasteurellosis should never be eaten. Under certain circumstances, this disease can also be transmitted to humans. Do not give meat to dead rabbits and dogs. According to the standards, carcasses are supposed to be burned. Skins are allowed to be taken to workshops, but only after thorough disinfection.
Not only cages and aviaries should be disinfected in infected rabbitry, but also the clothes of farm personnel. As disinfectants, it is allowed to use exclusively products designed specifically for the removal of the bacterium Pasteurella. The fact is that not all disinfectants kill her. The treatment of rabbitry during an outbreak of a disease such as rabbit pasteurellosis can be, for example, formalin (1%), lysol (5%), caustic soda (2%), carbolic acid (3%). All these drugs can be used both individually and simultaneously. Rabbit treatment is carried out using a spray gun.
Pasteurellosis (hemorrhagic septicemia)
Pasteurellosis (hemorrhagic septicemia) - an acute infectious disease characterized by fever, intoxication, inflammation of the skin, subcutaneous tissue, arthritis, osteomyelitis. Refers to zoonoses.
Etiology, pathogenesis. Pathogen - Pasteurella multocida - short ovoid gram-negative bacillus. There are 4 serotypes of pasteurolla (A, B, D and E), some of them have subtypes. The microbe is not very stable in the environment, dies when heated, under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, disinfectants.
The causative agent is capable of producing exotoxin. The source of infection is many types of animals (cattle and small cattle, cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs, hares, rats, birds, etc.). The gates of infection are often the skin at the site of a bite or scratch caused by an animal. The pathogen is allowed to enter through the mucous membranes.
In place of skin damage, inflammatory changes develop. In some cases, hematogenous spread of pathogens with the formation of secondary foci in various organs (lungs, brain, joints, etc.) is observed. Septic forms may be accompanied by the development of toxic toxic shock and thrombohemorrhagic syndrome.
Symptoms during. The incubation period lasts from 1 to 5 days. With the cutaneous form of pasteurellosis at the site of the pathogen introduction, swelling and redness of the skin, soreness on palpation appear first. Soon pustules are formed in this place, filled with muddy contents, after the destruction of the bubble, a scab forms.
The inflammatory process can capture the deeper parts, phlegmon or abscesses may develop. Sometimes the process goes to the bone, causing the development of arthritis or osteomyelitis. During the development of inflammatory changes, limited only by the skin and subcutaneous tissue, the general condition of patients remains satisfactory, body temperature remains subfebrile, there are no pronounced signs of intoxication.
Chronic inflammatory changes in the lungs may be due to pasteurellosis or its combination with a secondary infection. The disease proceeds as chronic bronchitis, sometimes with the development of bronchiectasis or in the form of sluggish interstitial pneumonia. Damage to the lungs can also develop with a septic form, in these cases abscesses of the lung, empyema of the pleura are possible.
The septic form of pasteurellosis is the most difficult, accompanied by high fever, the temperature curve is of the wrong type with large daily ranges. Secondary foci appear in various organs (endocarditis, brain abscesses, purulent meningitis, purulent arthritis, etc.). Infectious toxic shock may develop.
Diagnosis. When recognizing pasteurellosis, epidemiological factors are primarily taken into account. Most of the cases described are associated with dog bites and especially cats (bites and scratches). Of the clinical manifestations, the most informative is the appearance of pronounced inflammatory changes in the area of the gates of infection.
To confirm the diagnosis, it is necessary to isolate the pathogen (from the separated skin ulcers, blood, pus abscesses, cerebrospinal fluid). Serological reactions are of secondary importance.
Treatment. Penicillin, tetracyclines, dose and duration are determined by the clinical form of the disease.
Prevention. Animal Care Precautions.